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Opening Day: A’s will open season on April 8 in Philadelphia

Opening Day was delayed one week from original schedule due to MLB lockout

MLB: SEP 20 Blue Jays at Phillies
Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The MLB lockout is over, and it ended in time to save the season! The 2022 campaign will feature the customary 162 games.

However, there’s a slight delay to Opening Day. The Oakland A’s will now begin their season on April 8, on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies. Some other teams will get started the day before.

The A’s were originally scheduled to open at home on March 31 against the Angels, but as the lockout dragged into the spring that timetable was no longer logistically possible. Last week the league officially postponed Opening Day and canceled each team’s first two series, but fortunately a new labor deal was reached before any more dates were affected. In fact, there’s still enough time to reschedule the lost games later in the summer.

That leaves Oakland with a slightly adjusted 2022 schedule. Instead of opening with a seven-game homestand against the Angels and the Tigers, they’ll start with a 10-game road trip to Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, and Toronto.

  • 3 @ Phillies
  • 4 @ Rays
  • 3 @ Blue Jays

That’s a tough slate against three good teams, so the A’s will be tested early. It’s also quite a bit of travel, going to the East Coast and then swinging up and down it a couple times before heading back home. At 10 games, it’s the longest season-opening road trip in club history, notes Matt Kawahara of the S.F. Chronicle. Also note that any unvaccinated players won’t be allowed to cross the Canadian border and will need to be put on the Restricted List for the Toronto series.

The A’s will finally return to the Coliseum for their home opener on April 18, against the Orioles for four games and then the Rangers for three. Then, after playing 17 straight days in four cities in two countries on both coasts, they’ll mercifully get a day off and slide across the Bay to play the Giants in San Francisco, before heading back to Oakland for another homestand. Click here to see the rest of the schedule.

There will still be further changes, as the previously canceled games must now be added somewhere. There hasn’t yet been an announcement on how those contests will be squeezed in, but presumably it will involve some doubleheaders. One thing we do know is that doubleheaders will go back to normal this year, with each game lasting nine innings instead of the abbreviated seven frames we’ve seen recently.

Oakland has seven games that must be rescheduled — four against the Angels, and three against the Tigers. Technically they’re A’s home games, but for what it’s worth there’s precedent that they could be played elsewhere if necessary as long as the A’s bat last. They’ll have plenty of makeup opportunities with the Halos, as they match up for two series in May and one apiece in August and September, with three of those four showdowns either right before or after an off-day.

The Tigers might be trickier. The A’s visit Detroit for four in May, and then they weren’t planning to see each other the rest of the year. What’s more, that series comes in the middle of a stretch when Oakland is already playing 13 straight days and the Tigers are playing 16 straight, so adding doubleheaders to that load is a lot to ask. Perhaps one creative option could be to utilize some stray off-days throughout the summer when the two clubs are already conveniently nearby each other playing other opponents?

Stay tuned to see how those final adjustments shake out, but for now we can say for certain that the A’s will open their season in four weeks, just 28 days away. Baseball is back!

Poll results

Last week, we took a poll of Athletics Nation readers to predict when Opening Day would actually happen, with 241 respondents. Let’s see how we did!

When will the 2022 A’s finally have Opening Day?
  • 6%: April 8, as currently scheduled (14 votes)
  • 6%: April 15, one more week of games cut (14 votes)
  • 41%: April 29, miss a month as owners recently threatened (100 votes)
  • 24%: June 3, miss two months (57 votes)
  • 10%: July 15, miss first half of season (25 votes)
  • 13%: Never! Season canceled entirely (31 votes)

When we voted back in December on when the lockout would end, we were overly optimistic. This time we were pessimistic, with only 6% getting it right and everybody else fearing worse. Personally I guessed April 15, then kinda wished I’d picked April 29, so I’m happy to be wrong.

Looking forward

There’s one more interesting note about the schedule, though it won’t affect this year. Beginning in 2023, the unbalanced schedule will be diminished. That means fewer divisional games, and instead every team will play each other at least once per year, even across interleague lines. Previously, clubs played each of their division rivals a ridiculous 19 times apiece, while playing only six or seven games annually against most other intraleague opponents, and waiting three years in between meetings with most interleague opponents.